When the Process Fails: Restoring Trust in a #MeToo Workplace

Lauren A. Turner (University of Massachusetts, Lowell, USA) and Michael C. Beers (University of Massachusetts, Lowell, USA)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 117
EISBN13: 9781799886181|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5820-1.ch005
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Details of a sexual harassment investigation were shared with members of the community by the employee who initially filed the related complaint and were subsequently leaked to the local media. Such details are regarded as confidential personnel matters, and parties to an investigation are encouraged not to discuss details in order to ensure full and impartial fact gathering. With that said, parties to complaints of this nature are not obligated to hold details in confidence – largely because it is their personal story. The broad distribution of details led to workplace protests, expressions of distrust of leadership, impassioned calls for greater transparency in handling of sexual harassment complaints by Human Resources, and a demand for review of sanctions levied on parties found responsible for violating policies. Leadership responded by convening a task force to examine current policies, to research best practices in sexual harassment response and prevention, and to recommend a plan of action.
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